NASHVILLE, TN. - The 45th Annual CMA Awards have come and gone, but longtime country and western singer Onus Grant's anger at being snubbed yet one more time remains.
"You have to know what I know about the dirty business of country music to really know just why I never get so much as a name drop at them there CMA awards," Grant confesses over an open bottle of Jack Daniels. "There's who you know, and that's it. If you don't know nobody in the Academy? Well, you ain't gonna win so much as shit for crackers. That's what my grandma taught me."
This past March, Grant celebrated the release of his 77th album, Titty Twister.
Critically, Twister is a landmark achievement for a lyricist who prides himself on writing every song on every single one of his albums. To commemorate his longtime success, Grant brought back together the surviving members of his original band - 'Onus Baxter Grant & the Ditchbangers' - to perform on the album in the recording studio.
"Me and the boys have come a long way from being the opening act every Tuesday night over at Fenster's Opry'n'Grill back in Shakemuch, Alabama," he explains. "We're older. We're wiser. There's a lotta miles under our shoes. I wanted to bring all of us back together for one big party or one last hurrah.
"We put a lot of ourselves into those tracks," Grant insists, "and I think it shows."
The disc sold thirty thousand copies in its first week, and the higher than expected performance was hardly a surprise to Grant. With such toe-tapping goodness on 'Three Ex-wives,' 'Trawl,' and 'Headless Disco Skank,' Twister was bound to be embraced by the music industry. 'Good Dog, Bad Dog, Dead Cat' was recorded entirely acapella and features heart-tugging harmonies. 'Stand By Your Ford' is more bluegrass than blue suede shoes. And 'Moonshine Jillie' features Grant's vocals as well as a solo playing his signature instrument, the mouth-harp.
However, Titty Twister quickly disappeared from the music charts once the National Organization of Women labeled Grant's first single off the album, 'Crow Fuckers,' as 'sexist, wholly inappropriate, musically indefensible, and downright misogynistic.'
"I long ago grew tired of cityfolk always kickin' on country boys for pawin' on sheep," Grant explains. "Down on the farm, there's all kinda critters to paw on. Every good ol' boy knows that. That's what 'Crow Fuckers' is all about."
Still, bitterness creeps into Grant's disposition as he glances lovingly at the disc's cover art. He knows time is no longer on his side, but he's hard at work on what he hopes to be his 78th album.
"I ain't no Taylor Swift," Grant contends. "I ain't gonna keep apologizing for not bein' born no Taylor Swift."